The Follow Up: Ethan Loy

LOW EthanLoy DogPush photoPAPKE DZ900 750pxPhoto: Papke


By Alex Papke

Hey, Ethan, what’s going on?
Nothin’ right now. I’m hanging outside my place with Rema. She’s baskin’ in the corner loving it.

She’s one of the best dogs. You found her in the streets, right?
Yeah, we were skating this spot that Cookie hits in east LA—it’s the ledge to manual-pad drop. He does the front blunt manual impossible on it. I was there with Nick, Julian, Dave and Diggler, and I went out to my car to grab a board. I really didn’t need to but I was bored and wasn’t skating the schoolyard so I wanted to set one up. When I closed my trunk and was about to walk back to the spot, she was just sitting there on the sidewalk, no collar, nothing. She was just sitting there looking up at me and then I went up to pet her and she didn’t hesitate or nothing. She just laid down on her back and let me pet her on her belly and that was just it. That was the end game for me.

It was meant to be for you two.
Oh, for sure. I swear, dude. She has some dependency issues but she likes being around me and I like being around her so it’s perfect. She just can’t stand being around kids, like, little five year olds. I don’t know what it is. Maybe her previous family she ran away from had kids she didn’t like; maybe she got left. I don’t know, but some people are really cold. And it’s East LA. You never know what happens.

LOWEthan Crunt Scottsdale photoKARPINSKI DZ900 750pxFinding dogs in the streets and lines in the ditches, backside crunt to curb flamingo     Photo: Karpinski

I’m glad you found the one. Anyway, congrats on the new part, dude! You just had a part in Element’s Peace video. Was this leftover footage or new stuff you filmed since then?
I didn’t have a lot of stuff to use in the Element part. Miner slowed everything down in my part—it was a slower song so it worked better as a slower part. I ended up having a lot less tricks that were showcased, but for this new part I had a good amount of useable stuff left that I was hyped on. To me it wasn’t throwaway—this is stuff that I’ve been sitting on since my first ACL injury. I probably had close to two minutes of footage before I tore my ACL the first time and that was four years ago. I’ve been sitting on some clips, though. Ryan, Robbie and Dave have been out with me for the last five months or so trying to wrap this one up, so not very long. I’ve just been super motivated to skate and finish this part. I knew exactly what I needed to get done and Gavin was all on board for this part, so it couldn’t have worked out any better.

It turned out rad! We had a fun time at the premiere as well.
Oh yeah, Gavin threw us a little BBQ at Cherry Park before and got all the homies drinks at the bar. It was perfect; it was a good day. Independent puts on!

LOW ethanloy boardthrow santaanaca photoJONES DZ900 750pxPhoto: Jones

Going back a little bit, you mentioned your ACL injuries. What happened? You hurt it back to back, right?
Yeah, and it happened right when I got introduced to Element, too, which was really hard. That was a good time for me to strike with my skating, being a young blood, you know? But some things don’t work out the way you want them too and that’s fine. It was a good life lesson and it’s just a way of learning. I learned a lot from that. And then my brother passed away in between those two ACL injuries so there was a lot of stuff that just hit me at once. But I felt that it made me stronger and it made me who I am today. My brother lives through me in my skating—that’s how I look at it. It makes me want to do my best but watch out for myself at the same time. Play chess, not checkers.

Exactly. Can you run us through how you hurt it the first time?
Yeah, I was out skating in LA with K-Walks, Chima, Cody Green and all of the Vans dudes. We went to this double-barrel rail—Daryl switch back grinds it in the Nike video. Anyways, I tried to fakie 5-0 frontside 180 on it. I stuck a few right before and was getting close, but on one of the tries when I came out I didn’t fully make it all the way back around to regular. I planted a little bit sideways and my front foot came off and just stuck to the ground. When I twisted the rest of my body for the 180 my foot was still in the same spot so it just cranked my knee and fully snapped my ACL.

LOW EthanLoy bsGrind photoPAPKE DZ900 750pxSlip out on this one and a torn ACL is gonna be the least of your problems—death-drop backside 50-50     Photo: Papke

So how long were you out with that one?
I played it stupid, man. I was drinking and just not being smart about it. I wasn’t doing the exercises I should have been doing, just being a dumb skateboarder pretty much. I probably had six months and I went on this little RV trip with Curren, Louie, Jake Anderson, Ryan Lee and the Hager brothers. I probably skated for a good two weeks on it and right when I got back Curren and I went to the Dew Tour. I tore it again in the bowl, with my brace on.

You weren’t even supposed to be skating the contest, were you?
No, it was totally karma coming back full effect for me. Element was in the team contest and Evan was up there skating the bowl, Cole was up there, Appleyard, bunch of legends. I went up there and was saying what’s up to all the boys and I wanted to take a run around the bowl. Ortiz couldn’t get me a wristband because I wasn’t actually in the contest, so I ended up just going to the deck, taking a run just pumping around and some dude working told me I wasn’t allowed to be skating. So Evan took off his bracelet and gave it to me and I threw it in my mouth and bit on it and was just rubbing it in the dude’s face like an asshole. I had it coming at that point. First run actually trying tricks, I slashed a couple of times and then was going over the hip and tried lipsliding it. I slipped out right away and my foot got caught at the top of the quarterpipe—my bad knee. My other foot went to the bottom of the quarterpipe, and it’s a six-foot quarter so I was fully doing the splits at that point. One foot high up on the coping, the other foot right at the ground and I fully snapped it again in the brace. The motion of the splits just made the ACL snap again.

First run, really?
I pumped around the bowl a couple of times, but yeah, first run actually trying tricks.

Ethan Loy hurricane 3 STRAND SQUARE DZ900 750pxSkate stoppers be damned! Loy storms a hurricanes past the knobs     Photo: Strand

Were you smarter about the healing process the second time?
Oh yeah, I learned my lesson. I played the game a lot smarter the second time around. I think I waited probably close to ten months before I even stepped on a skateboard at that point. I was doing therapy three-to-four times a week. I was eating healthier and not drinking at all. I maybe drank two or three times during that ten months but just special occasions for the homies. I was watching myself a lot more that time around and it showed for it. Now I feel healthier than ever and my knee doesn’t hurt me anymore. I don’t have to skate with a brace at all, and I’m two-and-a-half years out of surgery so I’m feeling great. I couldn’t be happier with the decision that I made the second time around compared to the first.

You played it safe.
Chess, not checkers, dude.

LOW Ethanloy bssmithgrind orangeca jones DZ900 750pxRook to back Smith, Checkmate!     Photo: Jones

Sidestepping a bit, where did you grow up?
Orange County. Santa Ana to be exact.

And your parents were always supportive of what you and your brothers were doing?
Dude, yeah. I’m gonna say it here—my parents are really dope; they’re awesome. They supported skating our whole lives. Growing up we would always have homies staying over and they would support all of them 100 percent. At one point Figgy and Chris Gregson were calling it “Hotel Loy” because there were so many people there. Figgy and Collin would roll through almost every weekend, Chris Gregson, Dickson would come to town and stay at our house. We would also have Rob Maatman, Ricardo Paterno, all these guys from Denmark and the Netherlands would come out. A lot of us met at those CASL contests, which is the California Amateur Skateboard League. Tony Hawk’s dad made it when he was younger, I guess. What a small world, though. Through that little contest series I met so many people. And back then people would just run it differently, I mean, it’s still pretty friendly now but you don’t always get those warm, welcoming arms.

Were there any people that stayed at your house where it kinda tripped you out or did it seem pretty normal at the time?
It all seemed pretty normal at the time because they were all just regular dudes that I would be going out skating with. They were just all my brothers’ friends and I would just tag along with their crew. Dudes like Figgy, Riley Hawk, Theotis, Louie, Curren—they were all regulars at my house growing up. Jake Hayes would come to town and be my bunkmate, same with Shawn Hale. So many people would end up crashing in my bed because they eventually took the bunk beds out of David’s room. I would get all jealous because they would be up all night watching skate videos together getting hyped to get out the next day and I would have to go to school.

It had to be motivating to have all that going on around you, though.
Yeah, for sure. And meeting all these dudes that are from around the world made me want to travel.

Loy GifFeeling right at home with a fake ollie front board into the bank. Having a permanent room at Hotel Loy pays off!     Sequence: Jones

Well, you spent a good bit of time in Barcelona filming for this and the Element video. Who was your favorite person to travel with?
I don’t think I have just one, but my favorite dudes to travel with would be Domo, Evan, Nick, Dave—he brings the hype—and Cole. If he was on every trip you know that would be the best, but we can’t have it that way. The whole team brings the hype, I love everyone on there and we have a stacked squad so it’s good.

Was it crazy to have Miner jumping on to help wrap up the video?
Oh yeah, everything was so scattered and he came into such a jump-ship situation because Cole had just left. So he wasn’t sure where everything was at and it’s not like he was there the whole way, so he had a lot of catching up to do. He came in and did a fuckin’ awesome job. I love the video; it’s really good; I’m stoked on it. He’s a mastermind and has a way of doing his things.

Was there anything in particular that you wanted to see in your Element part that found its way into this one?
Yeah, I had that front feeble hardflip—it’s the ender of this Indy part. You know in all seriousness I’m kinda glad I was able to save it because I tried to get a current ender for this part but I wasn’t able to fully pull through. We ended up saving some clips for the next project that I’m going to try and work on with the Element dudes. That’s probably the only one that I was bummed that it didn’t get used. But things happen for a reason and now I have it lined up for this part so it’s fine. I’ve never really done a hardflip in my life—I’m not a hardflipper at all. Sometimes certain spots just work out the right way. Two years prior we were in Barcelona and I did a front feeble kickflip on that spot, and then one of the bails it hardflipped on accident so I was pondering on it for the two years that I was going through my ACL injury, wondering if it was possible. The first trip back we went to that spot and I got that trick. I was just really fucking determined for so long to get it and it took a solid four hours at least. It was a battle for me. Haslam and Madars hit the spot that day, too, so it was epic. Oh, and Blake! Chris Blake was there. Don’t forget Chris Blake.

Low ethanloy peterbluntgrind santaanaca photoJONES DZ900 750pxOne-eighty to fakie 5-0, certain spots just work out the right way     Photo: Jones

Can’t forget about Chris. I heard you guys love the dance clubs out there, Evan asked me to mention “Wristina.”
Oh, man, okay. So there is this one girl from Spain who skates. I guess she has met a lot of the skaters—whatever. She hangs out at MACBA all the time. Random enough, we would go out every night and always end up seeing her at the bars. One night we went to Jamboree, this three-story dance club in Barcy. We go there and we’re all having a great time, just dancing around for hours on each level. One level’s hip-hop, one level’s rock, one’s pop. It’s great; you can choose what you’re into. After a certain amount of time we’re all getting really loose and we end up randomly making out in the middle of the dance floor. I was just on a hot one by that point and we ended up going to the champaign room, full on into the bottle-service room and I thought it was supposed to be the bathroom! But we go into the bottle-service room and I end up grabbing the first bottle of champaign that I see. We pop it right there. There are cameras all over the place, for sure. Two minutes later this guy grabs us. He’s grabbing me by the ear and the other guy is grabbing her by the neck and just pulling us out. We fully got thrown out of the club. Like, no problem. The worst part was we only had a few sips of the champaign.

They had to toss that bottle, for sure.
They were hot. So everyone else is still in Jamboree having a good-ass time and I’m just bummed that I got thrown out. I wanted to keep it going. She knew the area pretty well so we end up going to this other club, Apollo, and right when we get there it’s closing. She ended up making up this story about how we really needed to go to the restroom and they let us inside. We ended up sneaking into the top floor and hung out for, like, 20 minutes. We full on got caught by the security, though. They came up so hot and thought we were going to the bathroom. It felt like we were up there forever. She’s crazy, too. She loved it.

So why were they calling her Wristina?
All the guys had nicknamed her that by the end of the trip because of what happened at Apollo. All I’ll say is that Evan and Nick made a song about Wristina right after the incident and were singing it nonstop. It was hilarious.

Damn, that’s funny. Well, that’s all I got. You got any thank yous?
First and foremost I want to thank my parents for always supporting me and being there. I wanna thank David, my girlfriend Tony and most importantly Rhino and Gavin at Indy for doing this part because I don’t know where it would have ended up. Not to mention Element, adidas, Hard Luck, Spitfire, Glassy, and Active. Much love to everyone!

LOW EthanLoy Portrait photoPAPKE DZ900 750pxPhoto: Papke

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